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by | College Football Insider

Fun with Numbers: Geno Smith's excellence goes beyond traditional stats

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Geno Smith’s numbers are numbing.

All week, his mushrooming statistics have blasted through the national college football landscape quicker than West Virginia’s no-huddle offense can snap the ball.

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Plenty of us know the favorites by now:

  The 20 touchdown passes, including eight against Baylor last week.

  The zero interceptions and 28 incompletions, good enough for a wildly efficient 83.4 completion percentage.

  The 1,728 yards and the 208.37 rating after his 656-yard performance against a deflated Bears defense.

But there’s more fun to be had with the clear-cut Heisman favorite’s play entering the Mountaineers’ Big 12 matchup with Texas. Consider...

35.1: Average number of yards a Smith pass traveled downfield before the catch on his eight touchdown passes last week. West Virginia’s offense doesn’t dump screen passes all the time and expect the receivers to do all the work. Three of Smith’s passes traveled 49, 46 and 53 yards before touching the receiver’s hands. Even his two short-yardage scores were 17-yard throws deep into the end zone.

3,089: Passing yards for Smith during his senior year at Miramar High School, which he led to the Florida state semifinal in 2008. Smith’s on pace for 5,184 regular season yards this year.

99: Number of more passing attempts for the national leader, Marshall’s Rakeem Cato (268 in five games), compared to Smith’s 169 in four games. West Virginia prides itself on quick scores and getting off the field, but think about what Smith could do with more snaps, or with a defense that could stop somebody? At his current rate, Smith is averaging a touchdown pass every 8.45 attempts.

91: West Virginia’s national ranking in time of possession (28:39). Controlling the clock is for grandpa’s football, apparently.

88.13: Touchdown percentage for West Virginia offense when entering opponents' red zone. The Mountaineers have scored TDs on 15 of 17 trips. They also have one field goal, or 5.88 percent.

End arounds

237: Number of rushing yards short of last year’s total through five games for South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore, who enters the Georgia game with 440 yards on 92 carries (4.78 yards per carry). Through five games last year, Lattimore, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament nearly a year ago, had 677 yards on 124 carries (5.46 ypc). Lattimore has been productive in 2011 with eight rushing touchdowns and his signature vision and patience through the line. Will he fully regain his explosiveness and cutting ability of old? If he hasn’t, there’s still time for that. Look at Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who tore his ACL in December and looked stronger in Week 4 than in Week 1.

2: Number of LSU receivers with more than 10 catches on the year (Jarvis Landry with 18, Odell Beckham with 16). To leave the Swamp with a win on Saturday, the Tigers will need at least a few key plays in the passing game. Paging Zach Mettenberger’s road guile.

29: Number of Football Bowl Subdivision teams that scored at least 40 points last week, nearly 30 percent of the teams in action.

3: Number of fourth downs converted by Texas and quarterback David Ash in last week’s win over Oklahoma State, the sort of clutch play that will be necessary against West Virginia.

5: Number of Nebraska players with at least 180 yards rushing and at least two rushing touchdowns. Running back Ameer Abdullah (486 yards) and quarterback Taylor Martinez (298) spearhead a ground attack that could be problematic for Ohio State this week.

No huddle

14: Number of USC walk-ons that made the trip to Utah this weekend (courtesy of @USC_Athletics). The Trojans carried the standard 70-player roster, which means walk-ons have made an impression. Expect the Trojans to shrug off the Stanford loss and resurge against the Utes.

5: Number of ranked teams with at least two blocked punts or kicks, which seems low out of 28 teams with two blocks or more.

8.57: Average number of carries it takes either Georgia running back -- Todd Gurley or Keith Marshall -- to score a touchdown. They have 14 scores on a combined 120 carries.

0: Number of times I’ve heard “Miami is back” this week. Which is a good thing. Though Miami’s 4-1 start is solid, wins over North Carolina State, Georgia Tech and Boston College won’t be enough. Talk to me when the Canes knock off Notre Dame and/or Florida State.

0: Number of Oklahoma State coaches that feel better after the Big 12’s reported apology (and recanted apology) for a botched call that allowed Texas to defeat OSU.


Jeremy Fowler is a national college football insider with CBSSports.com. Fowler joined CBS in 2012 after covering the Minnesota Vikings for the St. Paul Pioneer Press for two seasons and covering the Florida Gators for the Orlando Sentinel for two years. Fowler is also a contributor to the CBS Sports Network.
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